Summer Abundance

Coppertop gardens have been requiring lots of extra time this week, but the payoffs have been delicious!

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We’ve had warm weather, reaching 80 degrees for about a week, so a big priority has been keeping everything watered. We’re so thankful for the well and water systems, since I can’t imagine what our water bills would run! This week the amazing aroma of hot sun on evergreens brings Tahoe to mind.

I can barely keep up with harvesting snow peas, English peas, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, currants, and raspberries.

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We’ve even picked the first sun sugar tomatoes and jalapeños, which I’m told is pretty unusual for mid-July here at my altitude. Each time I glance at the cherry tree it’s appearing more red, and I’m hoping I can hold off on the cherry harvest for another week. I’m also at the point where I’m clearing beds of lettuces and cabbages for the chickens, then replanting. New spinach is in already. Here are pea rows shown a few weeks after planting and about a month ago: IMG_0555

IMG_1104 Right now they are overflowing with peas!

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I will definitely adjust the way we grow our peas with the next crop. These two varieties are bush peas which are described as needing no support. When I saw how large they were growing, I added a low metal trellis between rows, but next time I’ll give them a sturdier, taller support, even wire cages. Harvesting would be much simpler if I didn’t have to lift the plants to pick peas! After picking comes either eating or preserving of course, so I’ve spent plenty of time in the kitchen prepping, freezing, and canning. All of our meals have included the garden’s bounty this week, from pasta primavera  to raspberry sauce over vanilla ice cream. The frozen version of peas and carrots is AWFUL, but my fresh version is delish!

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In front of the house, the bed of lilies is in bloom. Some are cheery and lovely. I wish I could say I am thrilled by these, but their brown, scraggly lower stems aren’t appealing (you can’t see them from this angle), and now the pinks are fading and orange lilies are blooming which are my least favorite flowers, reminiscent of highway divides. I’m open to changing out this entire bed in a year or so. Perhaps I’ll relocate the lilies to another area at Coppertop. IMG_1269

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